I am HONORED to share the second woman’s story that changed my life forever. This woman is my grandmother Mansureh Tehrani, also known as grandma Mimi.

Grandma Mimi is an integral part of who I am today. As a young child, I called my grandma Mimi, “Maman Mansureh” meaning Mommy Mansureh. The reason why I called her mom seems strange to most, but not to me because my grandma has been my second mother. She has filled the role of the nourishing maternal archetype for me.

My grandmother’s story is a beautiful one. She grew up in Tehran, Iran, and was always at heart, a “wild child.” She climbed trees, did sports, and spoke her mind in a time when most girls and women were not supposed to behave like that. Growing up with simple-minded and kind parents, she learned that giving to others, it was an act of God. That the way to bring joy to her own life was to bless others. This is one of the most important things in my life now.

In her young adult life, Grandma Mimi was determined to finish her education and not just become a wife and stay at home mom. Her dream was to become someone who serves her community first. She chose to enroll in a nursing program and became certified to work as an RN in the hospital at the young age of 19. This was a big deal for that time. Very few women were working or able to assist the male doctors.

My grandma Mimi didn’t let that stop her.

At her job, she loved her patients dearly and went above and beyond to let them know they were safe and taken care of with love. Her sincere efforts paid off when one of the head doctors — name Muhammed — took notice of her. He liked her feisty personality and that she was different from most soft-spoken Iranian women of that time.

Soon, a love story developed and my grandma Mimi and grandpa got married. She continued assisting at the hospital as a dedicated nurse for 22 years, while my grandpa was working on call as an ENT surgeon. Shortly after their marriage, grandma Mimi had her first child, My uncle Farshad. Then five years later, my mom Faria was born. And almost twelve years after my mother, her last child Farshid was born.

Grandma Mimi was a wonderful and loving mother. She did the best she could to raise three amazing children. The kind of lavish life in Iran included housemaids, Persian parties called Mehmooneys, fancy holiday trips, proper schooling for the children, and being a “good subservient wife.” A wife who did not question her husband’s decisions or behaviors. Some of these accepted behaviors unfortunately included adultery. After many years of pretending that she didn’t “know” what was happening or denial, my grandmother had a major breakdown and divorced my grandfather after thirty years of marriage.

The good life she knew was gone and she felt alone, lost and rejected. I remember feeling deep compassion for my grandmother when she moved in with us when I was six years old. There were days that she would cry silently and smoke cigarettes to hide her pain. One day, I asked her what she was so sad about. She told me the truth and I said that it didn’t matter what happened in her past.

That the best thing that ever happened to me was her living with us. I asked her to quit smoking because she had to live a long life to be around for me and she started sobbing happy tears. The next day, she quit cold turkey and never smoked again! That is the power of a child’s LOVE. I truly felt that my grandma Mimi was sent from God to protect me, buffer the anxiety in the household, and act as my playmate (I had no siblings). My grandma Mimi is a true sweetheart. Everyone in my family and friends know how big her heart is, she would help anyone in need. She’s everyone’s grandma.

My spiritual development and who I am today has a lot to do with my grandma Mimi. I believe in giving to those less fortunate than me, and in helping others regardless of their situation. These acts of kindness are a part of my daily life. My role as a healer also has a lot to do with grandma Mimi’s love in helping others heal. In fact, my life purpose in becoming a heart centered woman’s coach and acupuncturist is because of my grandma’s example of CLAIMING and LIVING your dreams.

Grandma Mimi has taught me to love others like my own and to facilitate all healing through God. That God is the guiding force in our lives and to always serve our community.

I can’t imagine my life without the HUGE impact my grandma has imprinted on my heart, mind, and soul. She will forever remain in my heart for years to come. Grandma Mimi is after all everyone’s grandma.